How To Tell If Your Chicken Is Sick – Chicken Diseases

How To Tell If Your Chicken Is Sick – Chicken Diseases

Did you know chickens can catch respiratory infections, can become depressed, and are susceptible to a number of other diseases that can sometimes be fatal? It may be hard to imagine, but chickens are just as likely to get ill as you are, and there are a number of diseases chickens can pick up and pass to one another, just like the common cold for humans. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms and how to quickly treat the problem before it becomes even more of an issue for you. A sick chicken is not only a danger to the rest of the flock but can also harm you if you raise your chicken for food. So how can you tell if your chicken is sick and what are some common illnesses chickens pick up?

There are many symptoms chickens will exhibit if they are ill, including lethargy, early molting, skin issues, changes in their feces, and a number of other symptoms. Each of these symptoms can point to a different disease or disorder. What may come as a surprise to you is chickens can even become depressed. A lonely chicken can become distant and unhappy, may stop producing eggs, and may exhibit signs of stress such as molting. To remedy depression a chicken needs other members to mingle with, both other chickens and even people. Surprisingly, chickens are actually fairly sociable creatures and can even form a bond with “their people.”

If a chicken is showing symptoms such as runny or discolored feces, strange regurgitation, or a lack of appetite, this could point to common illnesses such as a bacterial infection in the intestinal tract. It could also point to a poor diet or a diet lacking in necessary nutrients.

If a chicken is showing symptoms such as respiratory distress, coughing, or discharge from their beak, it could point to a respiratory infection or even bronchitis in chickens. It’s important to note that many respiratory infections in chickens are contagious. If a chicken is exhibiting any symptoms that could point to a respiratory infection you need to isolate the hen and seek treatment immediately.

If a chicken is showing symptoms such as spotted skin, wart-like spots, and possibly respiratory distress, this could point to Avian Pox (or Chicken Pox). This is a common disease in chickens, but with vaccination it can be prevented. Once Avian Pox is present in your flock it is very difficult to maintain as it spreads slowly and could remain present in the flock for several months. Other skin conditions to watch out for is Bumblefoot, Frostbite, Poultry Lice, Heat Stress, and Prolapsed Vent (semi-internal).

It may be a good idea to keep an emergency kit on hand to easily treat wounds or minor illnesses. Your emergency kit should include:

· Alcohol wipes and bandages.

· Wound ointment or powder for minor cuts or scrapes (you could use Neosporin, but check with a vet first. There are vet grade treatments that would be more suitable).

· Wire crate for isolation if a chicken is exhibiting symptoms of a disease that could be passed to others.

· Protective gloves.

· Preparation H.

· Scissors and Tweezers.

There are other items you could include in your kit, ask your vet for suggestions. And, of course, if any of your hens or roosters are showing any signs of being ill it’s always best to ask a vet for advice.

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